Turn Away from Astrology and the Occult
The Bible warns us to avoid sorcery, mediums, and divination
Doug Britton, MFT
Introduction: Astrology, the occult, and sorcery
As we go through life, most of us become aware that there is a spiritual dimension to life, and many of us seek to understand (or experience) it. In our search, we often turn from organized religion and look for alternatives. That described my life for many years until I had an encounter with God, and I realized I had been on the wrong path.
If you too are a searcher, I think that’s wonderful. But i also want to caution you that you may come across some spiritual ideas that that can actually harm your relationship with God. Seek to know the truth, but keep your eyes open. Be wise.
God tells us to turn to him and renounce the occult
Many people, including Christians, think it’s harmless to look at astrological charts or engage in various forms of spiritism. They think it is fun or entertaining.
Others look to astrology, divination, and mediums for guidance, not just entertainment.
But God clearly warns against such practices in many Bible verses. Some reasons the Scriptures warn against engaging in any form of the occult:
- We are opening ourselves up to spirits other than God’s.
- We are not looking to God for guidance, but to the occult.
- We are turning away from true faith in Jesus.
- We are disobeying God’s word, the Bible.
The Israelites often made the same mistake and turned from God, although God clearly warned them about this.
When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
Saul, Israel’s first king, started out well. He expelled mediums and spiritists from the land, then violated God’s word and his own conscience by consulting a medium (1 Samuel 28:3-25). His end was tragic (1 Samuel 31:1-6).
New Testament Christians turned from sorcery. Let their example serve as an inspiration and a warning.
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (Acts 19:18-20)
These verses are given to us as warnings. God wants us to learn from the examples he gives in the Bible, and to avoid making the same mistakes. He loves us and wants us to turn from anything that will get between us and the joyful life he offers.
Bible verses warning about mediums and spiritists
Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. (Leviticus 20:6)
When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? (Isaiah 8:19)
Bible verses warning about astrology
And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)
… and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky. (Deuteronomy 17:3)
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. That is all they can do for you—these you have labored with and trafficked with since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you. (Isaiah 47:13-15)
Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel. This is what the LORD says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.” (Jeremiah 10:1-2)
In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. (Daniel 1:20)
Bible verses warning about divination, sorcery and magic charms
Do not practice divination or sorcery. (Leviticus 19:26)
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.” (Ezekiel 13:20)
The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)
“So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:5)
Bible verses warning about idol worship
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. (Exodus 20:4-5)
Watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. (Deuteronomy 4:15-18)
God’s love for you
There is a spiritual element in life, centered around a loving God who created us for friendship and fellowship. Click here for Bible verses describing God’s love for you.
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About Doug Britton, MFT
Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)
Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.